Their seasons are headed in complete opposite directions but both Michigan and Michigan State have something at stake on Saturday bigger than the Paul Bunyan Trophy: The legacies of their senior classes.
In the history of the rivalry, Michigan State has had just 7 classes leave with an unbeaten mark against Michigan. This year the Spartans could win their fourth in a row in the rivalry and their 8th in the last 9 years. That would make this years Spartan seniors just the 8th class to go undefeated against the Wolverines.
Spartan senior tight end Josiah Price knows what's at sake. "It is a special opportunity and something that we can cherish that our class can go down as being known for a team that went 4 and 0 against Michigan, so I don't think we're going to shy away from that and just because Michigan is having a great season and undefeated so far. We're still going to try and bring that mentality and we have to come ready to play and we can win this game and we will win this game."
Michigan has a different focus for this game. The Wolverines aren't shying away from the fact that they want an undefeated season, which would earn them their first Big Ten title game birth and a chance at the college football playoff. The fact that this Michigan senior class has never beat MSU is something they want to change, but that's not as important as winning the rest of their games.
"The only way is to prepare like we have nothing else to prepare for and that's really our mindsets that's Coach Harbaugh's mindset," said All-American senior cornerback Jourdan Lewis. "That's the defense, that's the offense and special teams mindset and that's really how we look at it. We can't look at Michigan State as the end all be all because it's not. Because if we win the Michigan State game and lose the other games, it really doesn't matter about our tradition or our legacy."